History and Recent Development

Dome of Zeiss Double Refractor(credit: M. Yusuf)


The Bosscha Observatory (formerly known as Bosscha Sterrenwacht) was built by the Nederlandsch-Indische Sterrenkundige Vereniging (NISV) or the Netherlands East Indies Astronomy Association.

There was in first meeting of NISV that concluded to build an observatory in Indonesia to advance Astronomy in the Dutch East Indies. During the meeting, Karel Albert Rudolf (KAR) Bosscha, a landlord in the Malabar tea plantation, agreed to become the main funder and promised to provide assistance in purchasing binoculars. As a tribute to KAR Bosscha’s services in the construction of this observatory, the name Bosscha is enshrined as the name of this observatory.

The construction of the observatory itself took approximately 5 years from 1923 to 1928. The first international publication of the Bosscha Observatory was in 1933. But then observations were forced to stop due to the raging World War II. After the war, a major renovation of the observatory was carried out due to damage from the war so that the observatory was able to operate normally again. Then on October 17, 1951, NISV handed over the observatory to the Indonesian government. After the Bandung Institute of Technology (Institut Teknologi Bandung, ITB) was established in 1959, Bosscha Observatory then became part of ITB. And since then, Bosscha has functioned as a formal Astronomy research and education institution in Indonesia.

In addition to carrying out his duties in research and education, Bosscha Observatory carries out community service activities, both in the form of routine activities and incidental activities, depending on the occurrence of interesting astronomical phenomena. Bosscha Observatory also opens opportunities for collaboration and learning for students and researchers from various places around the world. Researchers and students from various places have come to conduct astronomical observations, conduct astrophysical data analysis, learn instrumentation, and so forth and so on. Bosscha Observatory also accepts students and researchers who want to learn relevant non-astronomical topics, for example about history, architectural/buildings, management, and environment study at the Bosscha Observatory.

In 2004, the Bosscha Observatory was declared as a Cultural Heritage Property by the Government. Therefore, the existence of the Bosscha Observatory is protected by Government Legislation Number 2/1992 concerning Cultural Heritage Objects. Furthermore, in 2008, the Government established the Bosscha Observatory as one of the National Vital Objects that had to be secured.

List of The Head of Bosscha Observatory

Year of duty Name
1923 – 1940 Dr. Joan Voûte
1940 – 1942 Dr. Aernout de Sitter
1942 – 1946 Prof. Dr. Masashi Miyaji
1946 – 1949 Prof. Dr. J. Hins
1949 – 1958 Prof. Dr. Gale Bruno van Albada
1958 – 1959 Prof. Dr. O. P. Hok dan Santoso Nitisastro (pejabat sementara)
1959 – 1968 Prof. Dr. The Pik Sin
1968 – 1999 Prof. Dr. Bambang Hidayat
1999 – 2004 Dr. Moedji Raharto
2004 – 2006 Dr. Dhani Herdiwijaya
2006 – 2010 Dr. Taufiq Hidayat
2010 – 2012 Dr. Hakim Luthfi Malasan
2012 – 2018 Dr. Mahasena Putra
2018 – $\ldots$ Premana W. Premadi, Ph.D